Training For Fat Loss

Training To Maximize Your Fat Loss

We’re going to discuss how to utilize your training and your body’s own processes to maximize your fat loss.  Here is a representation of a cross section of your muscle to utilize and explain this; how we’re going to train to maximize your fat loss.

Now, when I talk about sugar (glucose) that’s coming from carbohydrates, you have limited storage for energy (glucose) in three different areas and basically an unlimited storage as fat.  Your body can store sugar in the blood.  Of course, your body will work to keep your blood glucose level at 110.  You can also store a limited amount of sugar in your liver and your muscle tissue.  Every muscle in your body is truly like a sponge.  It can store sugar, which comes from your carbohydrates, turned into glucose and stored in the muscle as glycogen. 

Twitch Fibers?!?

You have two main types of muscle fibers.  Your slow twitch muscle fibers are small in size.  Slow twitch fibers have limited potential for growth and strength.  They’re more like your endurance muscles.  We also have fast twitch muscle fibers which are larger in size.  Fast Twitch muscle fibers have the greatest potential for growth and strength.  This is where explosive strength and power is generated from within your body.  Each muscle is made up of a varying ratio of these two different fiber types which is determined by your own individual genetics. 

Now, I’ve drawn out a representation here (see white board picture above) with green being our fast twitch, blue being our slow twitch and I’ve tried to represent the size of each just as an example.  I’ve also drawn out a representation of what different levels of intensity or load might look like.  For example, if you were doing an aerobic or cardio based workout like Tabata or a beginner CrossFit, maybe Insanity, etc. with body weight alone.  Yes, you are using a lot of energy but you are not challenging the maximum number of muscle fibers possible.  Your body only fires enough muscle fibers required to make each movement which is determined by the LOAD.  If you are simply bending your arm upward as you would in a dumbbell curl, only enough fibers will be fired to raise your arm.  Lifting your arm will only activate a small number of your “slow twitch” fibers compared to the amount of slow and fast twitch fibers that will be activated to do a dumbbell curl with a 50-lb. dumbbell.  Maximizing the total number and type of muscle fibers fired during your workouts will have a direct impact on your GOAL. 

In order to maximize the potential within each muscle, use 75% or higher of the load potential for that muscle.  This is where you’re going to get the maximum amount of energy from sugar (glucose) burned and remember, your muscle fibers store sugar.  So, the larger the muscle group, the more muscle fibers activated within that muscle, the more sugar you’re burning, therefore, the more calories you’re burning during that workout.  You’re always going to hear me say, “You want to keep your intensity high, Anchor yourself in Muscle!”

The Spider Web Effect – Micro Trauma Tears

Now, the greater number of muscle fibers you use and the higher intensity, you will create micro trauma tears within the muscle.  I like to use the spider web effect of a windshield shattering to try to imagine what it’s like when you create these micro trauma tears.  Your body has to repair this minor damage.  This is a survival mechanism; your body will naturally try to adapt to your intense training by repairing its muscle tissue and building new tissue.  It needs to be bigger / stronger / faster to be better prepared for your next training session.  Your body does the majority of your cell regeneration (repair) at night while you’re at rest (sleeping).  The preferred energy source of your body for muscle repair are FAT STORES.  Isn’t that the goal?  Burning fat? 

So, that’s how we’re really going to multiply the effects of our training.  If we use the maximum amount of fibers during our training, we use more of a full body workout.  You’re burning the maximum amount of sugar, the maximum number of calories.  If you take your intensity as close as you can to the maximum capacity of that muscle, create those micro trauma tears, then at night while you sleep, you’re getting your body recovered.  Your body predominantly uses fat stores to make those repairs. So, not only are we using up the maximum amount stored energy (calories) in the muscle we have, we are now creating the need for muscle repair (muscle building) which our body uses FAT STORES directly to perform.  We are building new muscle that requires energy (calories) to maintain raising our metabolic rate 24 hours per day, turning you into a FAT BURNING machine.

The Greater The Resistance = The Greater Activation

The difference between a 20 lb., 30 lb., 40 lb. and 50 lb. dumbbell, the heavier you go, the more resistance you have.  No matter the type of resistance, whether it be body weight, a resistance band, a dumbbell or a machine, the greater resistance, the greater activation you will get.  The greater number of muscle fibers that will be fired equals a greater amount of sugar (calories) that you burn in that workout.  Now, you can maximize that by using full body or compound movements within a full body workout. Squats, Leg Press, Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Cable Pull Downs, Pull Ups, Bent Over Barbell Rows, Cable Rows and Dead Lifts are all great examples of large compound movements that require the involvement of the greatest amount of muscle groups for each movement.  Building your workouts around these large compound movements will definitely take your results to the next level over using small isolation movements like dumbbell curls and dumbbell flies. 

I recommend most people, “general public”, start with at least three days per week of full body training based around the compound movements discussed above.  The more muscle groups that you train in any session with high intensity and heavy loads the more calories are burned during that workout session.  Of course, along the way, yes you will need to progress as you make progress and your body adapts to your weight training.  The next progression would be towards an upper body / lower body split which then allows more focus to be put on each on different days respectively.  Beyond that is where you get into a push / pull / legs split and on to the more traditional “BRO SPLITS”.

If you have any questions about anything on this board, do not hesitate to shoot me an email at anchoredinmuscle@gmail.com.

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